December's Cold Winter - Ablaze All Shrines
December 2008

01. Envenomed Cult
02. Your Sordid Pride
03. Ablaze All Shrines
04. Black Garden's Sculptures
05. Manipulating Human Emotions
06. Kings Of Lie
07. Consequences

Costa Rica, the land of sun, beaches, cocktails and... cold winters? Do they even have winter over there? Or is their definition of 'winter' that you have to wear a t-shirt when going out? Anyway, there's a band called December's Cold Winter from Costa Rica and according to their biography they're making it big over there. Apparently they've won the Costa Rica version of "Battle Of The Bands" and more notably they've toured with big acts such as Dismember, Behemoth, Sepultura and Fear Factory.

So what do they have to offer? Varied, but pretty standard Melodic Death metal, that's what they offer. Deep growls, heavy metal-esque riffs with a surplus of melody, fast-paced drumming and a bunch of solos, you know the deal. Plenty of skill is present and the band avoids sounding monotone by keeping it diverse. Besides a few moments where the song writing and song structures sound a little too simplistic and hastily done, for example the one-dimensional boring riffs that tend to pop up throughout the album, the overall impression of this album is a positive one.

Besides that, the entire album is produced too clean and clinical to my liking. I'm sure the band will view this differently, calling it "modern" and "professional" (and those are indeed words that can also be applied to this album), but those characteristics just don't really work for me. I have a hard time connecting with this release as it sounds too distanced and cold-hearted. Everyone should realize though that this is a highly subjective issue, as most people will probably prefer a good, clean production over a sloppy, amateur one.

Despite the three year period in between the debut and this second album, they give me the impression that they should have given the songs a little more thought. Apart from that, I'd say that my introduction with Costa Rica metal-wise has been a pleasant one. It's a shame they don't thread outside the trampled paths, but you can't expect that from every single band. If you like your metal with melody and a bite and are interested in metal from countries where you wouldn't expect it, surely give this a shot.

Performance: 8
Songwriting: 7
Originality: 6
Production: 8

Band profile: December's Cold Winter
Album: Ablaze All Shrines


Written on 11.01.2009 by
If you're interested in extreme, often emotional and underground music, check out my reviews. I retired from reviewing, but I really used to be into that stuff.
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Boxcar Willy - 05.08.2011 at 19:00  
They be awite. have a thrashesque sound to them.

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